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Premieres and Commissions

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has commissioned 162 new works in its 63-year history and has presented the world premiere of 53 additional works. The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has received 17 ASCAP awards for adventurous programming of contemporary music.

Commissions and Joint Commissions

All commissions are world premieres unless otherwise noted.
The year listed is the year of the premiere.
† = Joint Commission; not a world premiere

Claude Debussy, arr. Geoffrey Gordon: Première rhapsodie, 2023
Abel Selaocoe, arr. Jonathan Posthuma: Ibuliye I’Africa/Africa is Back, 2023
Abel Selaocoe, arr. Jonathan Posthuma: Roaming Pulses in 11/8, 2023
Abel Selaocoe, arr. Jonathan Posthuma: Tanzanian Blue, 2023
Abel Selaocoe, arr. Jonathan Posthuma: Kea Mo Rata, 2023
Ludwig van Beethoven, arr. Jonathan Posthuma: Heiliger Dankgesang, 2023
Cristóbal de Morales, arr. Abel Selaocoe and Jonathan Posthuma: ‘Parce mihi, Domine’ from Officium Defunctorem, 2023
Stephen Hartke: Da Pacem, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (Joint Commission) 2023†
Commissioned by Oberlin College and Conservatory; The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Aspen Music Festival and School, Robert Spano, Music Director; and American Composers Orchestra

Brett Dean: Piano Concerto, Gneixendorfer Musik – Eine Winterreise (U.S. Premiere, Joint Commission) 2023†
Commissioned by The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, NFM Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony and the BBC
**part of the SPCO’s Beethoven/5 commissioning project
Viet Cuong: Now and Then, 2022 Sandbox Residency
Duke Ellington, arr. by Stephen Prutsman: Three Songs of Duke Ellington, 2022
Arrangements made possible by support from Michael Hostetler and Erica Pascal
Viet Cuong: Doubling Back, 2022 Sandbox Residency
Carlo Gesualdo, arr. by Jonathan Posthuma: ‘Resta di darmi noia” from Madrigals, Book 6
PaviElle French: Sands of Time, 2022 Commissioned by Bill and Susan Sands in collaboration with the American Composers Forum
J. S. Bach, arr. by Jay Ferree: Goldberg Variations for Chamber Orchestra, 2022
Cindy Cox: Dreaming a world’s edge, 2022 Commissioned by the League of American Orchestras with the generous support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, World Premiere by The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Sergei Prokofiev, arr. by Stephen Prutsman: Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra, 2022
Jessie Montgomery: Shift, Change, Turn and Variations (Midwest Premiere, Joint Commission) 2021 †
Sky Macklay: Disassemblage, 2021

Michi Wiancko: Island in the Sky for Solo Clarinet, 2021
Clarice Assad: Jazz Montmartre for Clarinet and Bass, 2021
Brent Michael Davids: Taptonahana for Solo Flute, 2021
Viet Cuong: Circling Back for Oboe and Cello, 2021
Chen Yi: Elegy for Solo Oboe, 2020
Ambrose Akinmusire: the river has its destination for Solo Double Bass, 2020
Adolphus Hailstork: St. Paul’s Blues for Solo Flute, 2020
Tyson Davis: Tableau No. X for Solo Trumpet, 2020

Nico Muhly: Shrink (Concerto for Violin and Strings) (US Premiere, Joint Commission) 2020
George Enescu, arr. by Maureen Nelson, Octet in C for String Orchestra, 2020
Stephen Prutsman: Color Preludes for String Orchestra, 2019
Caroline Shaw: Watermark (Midwest premiere, joint commission) 2019 †
**part of the SPCO’s Beethoven/5 commissioning project
Maya Miro Johnson: wherever you go, there you are, 2019
Lembit Beecher: Say Home, 2019
Kinan Azmeh: Don’t RipEat After Me, 2019
PaviElle French: A Requiem for Zula, 2019
Vijay Iyer: Asunder (Midwest premiere, joint commission) 2019 †

Hannah Lash: Piano Concerto, 2018
Jesper Nordin: Emerge for Clarinet and Orchestra, 2018
Salvatore Sciarrino: The Dream of Stradella (world premiere, joint commission) 2017
**part of the SPCO’s Beethoven/5 commissioning project

Dai Fujikura: Concerto for Flute and Chamber Ensemble (Midwest premiere, joint commission) 2017 †
Timothy Takach: True North, 2017
Pierre Jalbert, Violin Concerto, 2017
Sally Beamish, Piano Concerto No. 3, City Stanzas, (world premiere, joint commission) 2017
George Tsontakis, O Mikros, O Megas (The small world, The huge world), (Midwest premiere, joint commission) 2016†

Derek Bermel, Murmurations for Strings (joint commission), 2016
Timo Andres, The Blind Banister, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (joint commission), 2015
Michael Hersch, Violin Concerto, 2015

Fred Lerdahl, Time and Again, 2015
Charles Wuorinen, MEGALITH for Piano and Orchestra, 2015
Nicolas Campogrande, Urban Gardens for Piano and Orchestra, 2014

Aaron Jay Kernis, Viola Concerto, 2014
Kevin Puts, How Wild the Sea for String Quartet and Chamber Orchestra, (Regional Premiere, joint commission), 2014†
John Luther Adams, Become River, 2014
Mason Bates, Garages of the Valley for Chamber Orchestra, 2014
Shawn Jaeger, The Cold Pane for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble, 2013
John Harbison, Crossroads for Soprano, Oboe and Strings, (joint commission) 2013

Matthias Pintscher, Bereshit (In a Beginning), 2013
Giorgio Battistelli, Mystery Play, 2012

Gerald Barry, Feldman’s Sixpenny Editions for Ensemble (U.S. Premiere, joint commission), 2012†
Donnacha Dennehy, If He Died, What Then for Soprano and Orchestra, 2012
Nico Muhly, Luminous Body, 2011
Gabriela Lena Frank, La centinela y la paloma (The Keeper and the Dove), 2011
Steven Stucky, Chamber Concerto, 2010
Michele Dall’Ongoro, Checkpoint, for Chamber Orchestra, 2010
Alberto Iglesias, In the Land of the Lemon Trees for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, 2009
HK Gruber, Busking for Trumpet and Orchestra (U.S. Premiere, joint commission), 2009†
Chen Yi, Prelude and Fugue for Chamber Orchestra, 2009
Maria Schneider, Carlos Drummond de Andrade Stories for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, 2008

Stephen Prutsman (arrangements), Three Jazz Standards for Piano Quartet, 2008
John Dowland, arr. by Stephen Prutsman, Four Songs for Soprano and String Quartet, 2008
Franz Schubert, arr. by Osvaldo Golijov, She Was Here, Four Songs for Soprano and Orchestra, 2008
Lee Hyla, Riff and Consequences, Concerto for Chamber Orchestra, 2008
Libby Larsen, Evening in the Palace of Reason, for String Quartet and String Orchestra, 2008
Layton James, Cantata Sine Nomine for All Saints’ Day, 2007
Fred Lerdahl, Spirals, 2007
George Tsontakis, Clair de Lune, 2007
Chinary Ung, Rain of Tears, Concerto for Chamber Orchestra, 2006
Jennifer Higdon, Oboe Concerto, 2005

Stephen Prutsman, Curious Hymns and Cosmic Spaces, 2005
Jake Heggie, The Deepest Desire: Four Meditations on Love for Mezzo-Soprano and Chamber Orchestra, (Commission and World Premiere of this orchestration), 2005
Mark-Anthony Turnage, A Man Descending for Tenor Saxophone and Orchestra, (U.S. Premiere), 2005†
Carol Barnett, Overture: The People’s Room, 2005
Stephen Prutsman, Grand Excursion, 2004
Steve Heitzeg, Open Spaces, 2004
Paul Schoenfield, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, 2004
Roberto Sierra, Sinfonía No. 1, 2004
Christopher Brubeck, Vignettes for Nonet for Woodwind Quintet and Jazz Quartet, (Regional Premiere) 2003†
George Tsontakis, Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, 2003

Dominick Argento, A Few Words About Chekhov, Song Cycle for Mezzo-Soprano, Baritone and Chamber Orchestra
(Commission and World Premiere of the orchestration) 2003
Layton James, Not These Sounds, 2002
Garrison Keillor and Andy Stein opera, Mr. and Mrs. Olson, 2002
Theodore Shapiro, Chambers, 2002†

Paul Schoenfield, Nocturne for Cello and Orchestra, 2001
Stephen Paulus, A Place of Hope for Chorus and Orchestra 2001
Peter Schickele, Symphony No. 2, The Sweet Season, 2001
Michael Daugherty, Sunset Strip, 2000
Aaron Jay Kernis, Overture in Feet and Meters, 2000
Daniel Godfrey, Symphony in Minor, 1999

Edgar Meyer, Violin Concerto, 1999
Jaron Lanier, Mirror/Storm, 1998
Bright Sheng, Postcards, 1998
Augusta Read Thomas, Passions, 1998
Michael Torke, Lucent Variations, 1998
Aaron Jay Kernis, Concerto for Violin and Guitar, 1997
Mel Powell, Settings for Small Orchestra, 1997†
Leoš Janácek, arr. by Martin Bresnick, On an Overgrown Path, 1996
Claude Debussy, arr. by Aaron Jay Kernis, Five Études, 1996
Aaron Jay Kernis, Goblin Market, 1996†

Aaron Jay Kernis, Too Hot Toccata, 1996
Daniel Brewbaker, Cello Concerto, 1995
John Harbison, Concerto for Flute, 1995†
Aaron Jay Kernis, Simple Songs [version for chamber orchestra], 1995
Franz Schubert, arr. by Randall Davidson, Fantasy in F Minor, D. 940, 1993
Toru Takemitsu, Fantasma/Cantos II for Trombone and Orchestra, 1994
John Corigliano, Troubadours, Variations for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra, 1993
Tod Machover, Forever and Ever: Concerto for Hyperviolin, 1993
Carlo Gesualdo, arr. by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Madrigals, 1993
Marjorie Merryman, Suspended, for Winds and Percussion, 1993

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Chamber Concerto: Ritornelli poi ritornelli, 1993 (Dedicated to Leopold Sipe, first Music Director of the SPCO)
David Stock, The Center Holds, 1993
Jacob Druckman, Nor Spell Nor Charm, 1992
Marjorie Hess, Santuario, 1992
Robert Schumann, arr. by Eric Stokes, Prophet Bird, 1992
Lori Dobbins, Fire and Ice, 1991
Paul Dresher, Cornucopia, 1990
Michael Gandolfi, Points of Departure, 1990 Midwest Premiere† (1/12/1990)
John Harbison, Viola Concerto, 1990 Midwest Premiere†
Scott Johnson, Confetti of Flesh, 1990

Daniel Lentz, Apache Wine, 1990
John Adams, The Wound-Dresser for Baritone and Chamber Orchestra 1989
Aaron Jay Kernis, Symphony in Waves, 1989
Fred Lerdahl, Waves, 1989
Christopher Rouse, Iscariot, 1989†
Michael Torke, Ash, 1989
Homer Lambrecht, Chamber Symphony: The Bow, 1988

David John Olsen, Medici Suite, 1988
Ferruccio Busoni, arr. by John Adams, Berceuse Elegiaque, Op. 42, 1989
Franz Liszt, arr. by John Adams, La lugubre gondola II, 1989

George Perle, Sinfonietta, 1988
Mary Ellen Childs, Decet, 1987
Marc Neikrug, Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra, 1987
Paul Schoenfield, Divertimento for Violin, Cello, & Piano, 1987
Kenneth Frazelle, Piano Quintet, 1986
David Lang, Spud, 1986
Thomas Oboe Lee, String Trio, 1986
Marc Neikrug, Chetro Ketl, 1986
Per Norgaard, Remembering Child (Concerto for Viola), 1986
Tobias Picker, The Encantadas [chamber orchestra/dance version], 1986

Rand Steiger, Tributaries, 1986
Daniel Sturm, Recollections of a Prodigal: The Return, 1986
Witold Lutoslawski, Partita, 1985
Stephen Paulus, Reflections: Four Movements on a Theme by Wallace Stevens, 1985
Jay Reise, Sinfonietta for Wind Quintet, 1985
David Jones, Chamber Symphony, 1984
David Koblitz, Bletchington Green for Brass Quintet, 1984
Joseph Schwantner, Dreamcaller, 1984
Bryan Johanson, Quietude, 1983
William Kraft, Double Play for Violin, Piano and Chamber Orchestra, 1983

Nicolas Thorne, Chaconne – Passion of the Heart, 1983
Richard Busch, In Dulci Jublio, 1982
Libby Larsen, Pinions for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, 1982
Alti Heimar Sveinsson, Infinitesimal Fragments of Eternity, 1982
Janika Vandervelde, The Farthest Shore, 1982
Stan Funicelli, Scintillae, 1981
Sydney Hodkinson, Sinfonia Concertante, 1980
Libby Larsen, Weaver’s Song and Jig, 1979
Charles Wuorinen, The Magic Art: A Masque on Music by Henry Purcell, 1979
William Bolcom, Symphony for Chamber Orchestra, (Symphony No. 3), 1979

John Cage, Quartets for 24 Musicians, 1978
Homer Lambrecht, Owl, 1978
Hans Werner Henze, Aria de la Folía Española, 1977
Francis Thorne, Piano Concerto, 1975
William Bolcom, Open House for Tenor and Chamber Orchestra, (Originally titled Roethke Cycle), 1975
Louis Ballard, Incident at Wounded Knee, 1974
William Albright, Night Procession, 1972
Max Lifchitz, Roberta, 1972
William Bolcom, Commedia for (almost) 18th Century Orchestra, 1971
Paul Fetler, Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, 1971

Sydney Hodkinson, Valence, 1971
Francis Joseph Pyle, Sinfonietta No. 1, 1971
Joseph Ott, Matris III for Chamber Orchestra, 1969 (composed 1968)
Joseph Ott, Music for Chamber Orchestra, 1968
Gene Gutche, Classic Concerto for Chamber Orchestra, Op.44, 1967
Donald Harris, Ludus, 1966
Gene Gutche, Rites of Tenochtitlán, 1965
Dominick Argento, Scenes Without Words; Royal Invitation or Homage to the Queen of Tonga, 1964
Gene Gutche, Bongo Divertimento, Op. 35, 1962
Paul Fetler, Nothing but Nature, 1961

Premieres (Works not commissioned by the SPCO)

Works are world premieres unless otherwise noted.

William Lucas Fanfare for a (Distant) Friend for Trumpet for Solo Trumpet and Electronics, 2022
Missy Mazzoli: Dark with Excessive Bright, Concerto for Contrabass and String Orchestra (US Premiere) 2019

Jacob Mühlrad: Angelus Novus, 2018
Martin and Göran Fröst: Nomadia for Clarinet and Orchestra, 2018

Marcos Balter, Pan: A three-part story for flutist and community participation, with original text in lingua ignota, 2017

Mauricio Sotelo, Red Inner Light Sculpture for Solo Violin, Strings and Flamenco Dancer, 2016

Heiner Goebbels, Songs of Wars I Have Seen, 2009 (U.S. Premiere, presented by the SPCO, performed by London Sinfonietta and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment)
Patrick Zimmerli, Chamber Symphony for 14 Solo Instruments, 2009
Michelle McQuade Dewhirst, Bump for Chamber Orchestra, 2008
Igor Raykhelson, Adagio for Viola and Strings, 2007 (U.S. Premiere)

Claude Debussy, Suite for Cello and Orchestra, arr. Sally Beamish, 2007
Russell Platt, Autumn Sonata for Violin and Piano, Opus 22, 2005
Reinbert de Leeuw, Im wunderschönen Monat Mai (In the Wonderful Month of May), 2005 (U.S. Premiere)
Jonathan Cole, Sand Lining for Violin, Cello and Piano, 2004
Sérgio Assad, Concerto Originis for Violin, Two Guitars and Orchestra, 2003
Daniel Schnyder, Concerto for Chamber Orchestra, 2002 (U.S. Premiere)
World Premiere of Revised Version
Libby Larsen, Raspberry Island Dreaming, (commissioned by The Schubert Club) 2002
Daniel Schnyder, Krisis, 2002
David Heath, Concerto No. 4 for Flute, Heaven and Earth, 2000
J.S. Bach/arr. Hugh Wolff, Prelude and Fugue in D, BWV 874 from Book II of The Well-Tempered Clavier, 2000

Edgar Meyer, Violin Concerto, 1999
Gary Kulesha, Conceits for Unaccompanied Solo Recorder, 1996 (U.S. Premiere)
Libby Larsen, Speak to the Earth and It Shall Teach Thee, 1991
George Walker, Poème for Violin and Orchestra, 1991
Charles McHugh, Crossroads, 1988
Robert Beaser, Song of Bells, 1987
James Callahan, Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, 1987
Janika Vandervelde, Clockwork Concerto for Viola, 1987
Jacob Druckman, Lamia [Version for chamber orchestra], 1986
Dominick Argento, Casanova’s Homecoming (an opera produced by the Minnesota Opera Company), 1985

Randall Davidson, Black and Blues, 1984
David Edminster, Below the Rapids, 1984
Paul Fetler, Piano Concerto, 1984
Jay Anthony Gach, Il Ponentino, 1984
Fred Bretschger, Smoke Rings, 1983
Chris Brown, Piece for Double Bass and Harp, 1983
Alex Lubet, Masada, 1983
Joey Barsten, Sinfonia, 1982
James Phillips, Small Suite for String Orchestra, 1982
Janika Vandervelde, Trio: Four Miniatures, 1981

Alvin Curran, Music for Every Occasion, 1980
Ralph Johnson, Visions of Ghent, 1980
Richard Paske, Singing Space 1980
Tona Scherchen, Lo, 1980
Kim D. Sherman, Sea Changes, 1980
Aaron Copland, Short Symphony [world premiere of new version by Dennis Russell Davies with composer’s permission], 1979
Scott S. Huston, Time-Reflections (Cantata), 1979
Elliot Schwartz, Chamber Concerto III for Piano and Small Orchestra, 1978
Eric Stokes, Pack-Rat (2 step) Slow (March) Drag, 1977
Miriam Gideon, Nocturnes, 1976

Keith Jarrett, Ritual for Piano, 1976
Karl Weigl, The Pied Piper Suite, 1976
John Cage, Score (40 drawings by Thoreau) and 23 parts (for any instruments and/or voices): Twelve Haiku followed by a recording of the dawn at Stony Point, New York, August 6, 1974, 1974
Garrett List, Songs, 1974
Eric Stokes, Variations on a Space and a Quiet, 1974
Eric Stokes, Five Verbs of Earth Encircled, 1973
Eric Stokes, Lampyridae, A Summer Nocturne, 1973
Eric Stokes, On the Badlands – Parables, 1972
Andreas Makris, Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, 1970
Paul Fetler, This Was the Way, 1969